Laundry detergent works for all clothes, right? Nope. Before you wash those hand-wash-only items with regular laundry detergent, stop yourself. Enzymes in laundry detergent can slowly break down fibers in delicate fabrics like wool and silk. Using a gentle soap designed for hand-wash-only items is the best way to get them clean with the least damage.
Hand-washing the right way
Here are some step-by-step tips for getting your hand-washed clothing as clean as possible without using harsh detergents:
- Pretreat stains with a quality pretreater.
- Add your hand washing detergent to a sink full of warm water (check garment's label for water temperature and adjust accordingly).
- Let the detergent dissolve.
- Close all of the buttons, zippers or snaps on the item.
- Dip the item into the water and knead it gently.
- Let the item soak for 15 minutes.
- Rinse with cool water (or temperature suggested on garment's tag).
- Gently squeeze the item to remove the water. Don't twist or wring the item.
- Lay the garment on a towel, roll the towel and gently press down on the length of the roll to remove extra moisture.
- Let the item air-dry on a drying rack.